Pixel Slate

My Chromebook journey has led me to the Pixel Slate.

As I wrote here a few months ago, I have wanted to move to a Chromebook for a while and I finally decided to do it.

I started with the Pixelbook, and I have been using it for about three months as my only machine at work. I wrote a bit about what I like about it and what I don’t like about it.

The lack of a biometric login (face or finger recognition) is a real limitation for me with the PixelBook because you have to use your Google login to unlock the device and I’ve got a very strong password on my Google account.

So when the Pixel Slate came out and offered fingerprint login, I bought one. I got it this week and have set it up and started to use it at work.

It’s a really interesting device. I bought it as a Pixelbook replacement as it has a keyboard that turns it into a laptop (sort of). It works a lot like the Microsoft Surface in that regard, although I have never used a Surface so I can’t really compare them.

But the thing that really kind of turned me upside down on the Slate is when I started installing Android apps on it. Once I had the native Gmail, Calendar, and other Android apps on it, the Slate started to feel like a massive phone to me.

So now I am really trying to understand this device and how best to use it.

I am intrigued by the hybrid nature of it, part laptop, part tablet, part phone.

I may very well start taking it with me when I travel, instead of my MacBook Air. 

In any case, I am now in full discovery mode with this device. And very excited to see all that it can do for me.

The one thing that took me some time to figure out is the biometric login. If you login to the device with your work Google login, the fingerprint login may not be available to you (that’s what happened to me).

With the help of my colleague Nick, I figured out that I could install the device with my personal Google login, then add my work Google account to it, and then I was able to use the fingerprint login.

I don’t really understand why Google deprecates the fingerprint login for work accounts as they allow that on the Pixel phone. 

But in any case, I got all of this working and I am now going to see how far this Pixel Slate can go with me. I am pretty optimistic that I am really going to like it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. sigmaalgebra

    With the help of my colleague Nick, I figured out that I could install the device with my personal Google login, then add my work Google account to it, and then I was able to use the fingerprint login.Again, once again, over again, yet again, one more time, Excedrin headache #339,593,597,339, the computer industry is functionally illiterate and, thus, unable to describe or document their work. They live in the land of fantasy delusions that it is each user’s responsibility to guess, experiment, ask others, do Google searches, unwind obscure jargon and undefined three letter acronyms, maybe now four letter, slowly learn 10% half well and never get to the other 90%. Biggest bottleneck in the future of computing.

    1. Elia Freedman

      The problem with computers is their extremely complex machinery used by mass consumers. Complex machinery is generally aimed at niches, not mass markets, where the operators take the time to learn and use these machines to their fullest. Computers, in these forms, should have never been used by mass consumers. That’s why most people prefer iPhones and Android phones. They are far more simple and learnable than a desktop or laptop-style computer.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Incorrect. My Mom’s flip phone finally died and she had no choice but to get a smartphone which she calls “The Stupid Phone” because she is clueless about most everything on it except Words With Friends. She gives everyone my email address now because she has forgotten her password to multiple accounts multiple times and can’t ever get back in. She literally has problems even figuring out how to answer it when it rings.

        1. Elia Freedman

          I didn’t mean they were perfect. I meant they were better. You can not take a device that does many things and make it simple. I don’t believe it is possible. The only way to make computers easy is to turn them into appliances where they do one thing and one thing only.

          1. Lawrence Brass

            Nor Apple or Google have addressed interface design for old or very young age users. Part of the problem is ageism, the other is “featuritis” in my opinion.Initial skeuomorphic ( words, words, I know the best words 😉 ) iOS UI designs for the iPhone were easier for a first time user, a 3 or 4 year old, because she could relate the interface with her material reality. After 10 years of modern smartphone use and adoption, our reality and perception as UI users has changed dramatically. We have been trained. However, the first time use experience requirements remain the same while UI designers get carried away by their own designs and creations, creating a layered paradigm and increasing complexity.The use case “hand your phone to a kid” shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve and solve and it is so common. Every Apple WWDC I am waiting for this.”featuritis”https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…”skeuomorphism”https://www.interaction-des…

          2. obarthelemy

            On the Android side there are solutions, depending on the kid’s age:toddler lock, does mesmerizing visuals so you have a few minutes to talk to the adult in front of youpin-an-app mode, so they can use one app and one app only2nd workspace, so they’ve got their own walled garden inside your device and can’t mess with your stuff.The core of the issue is monetization. Nobody is going to buy $1k devices for toddlers or seniors, and ads are likely to confuse hence irritate them.

          3. Lawrence Brass

            What Android OS version I need to test that functions/modes?

          4. obarthelemy

            Toddler Lock is an app, there are several similar. https://play.google.com/sto…Pin an app seems to have appeared in 5.0. https://support.google.com/…2nd user or 2nd workspace is OEM-dependent on phones, both availability and implementation. My Xiaomis have had it since I switched to Xiaomi, so 3yrs (and it’s in Settings > 2nd Space). I know Samsung has something similar or even true multi-user.

        2. obarthelemy

          I’ve been designated in charge of Tech for my family’s seniors (60+ I guess, I’m 50) and it is a delicate struggle. It takes me at least 4 hours to set up a new phone, plus whatever time is needed for password recovery.On Android, for basic users, my goal is to get them to call, text, take pics, maybe do messaging and mail. Key steps:1- Use a Launcher that can lock down the home screen so the users don’t mess it up. If your OEM’s doesn’t have that feature, the free variant of Nova Launcher does.2- set up the right widgets on the home page, typically weather (why is that all seniors’ obsession ?) I use Today Weather, and New Incoming Texts (I use the OEM’s because MMS have issues with other apps). 3- You want a single home screen with those 2 widgets, and in the fixed the drawer at the bottom: Phone, Contacts, a messaging/mail apps folder, and a “misc” folder with fave games, flashlight, camera, maybe browser for some users. All other apps stay tucked away in the basic Android list. Plain uniform background to decrease the cognitive load.4- on most phones, you can configure the phone to pick up and hang up when opening/closing the phone’s case screen flap, pressing the home button, pressing the power button. Any of these is much better than sliding the green thing up ^^5- for the extremely confused, you can put shortcuts to call specific contacts right on the home screen. Don’t forget to put a contact number on the lock-screen for when the phone is lost.Things that don’t work:not locking down the home page, they’ll mess it up in hours, not daysvoice assistants. they’ll ho-hum, hesitate, backpedal their requests into gibberishtrying to do too much. Getting them to make and receive calls and texts is a huge win. Messaging and mail are next, then taking and sharing pics.Edit oh, and you need to make sure their Contacts are clean and up to date. I’ve got a separate browser on my PC I use to log into my mom’s contacts to make additions, changes…

        3. obarthelemy

          Also, it is unsafe but I’ve got a doc listing my parents’ passwords (except banks) on my 2FA-protected gDrive. It’s still safer than the usual idiot passwords.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Yeah, me too, but she goes rogue on me and changes it and then can’t remember.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        The problem with computers is their extremely complex machinery used by mass consumersSo are kittens and puppies, and for that matter, spouses and children, a car, and people once thought, TVs, maybe before that radios and telephones.Nearly all of what desktop computers need to be plenty easy enough for people to use is all in just one word — documentation. Or two words, good documentation. And the problem here is that the computing community is functionally illiterate, basically unable to describe their work — but I thought I mentioned this.However hard or easy computers would be to use if designed better and had good documentation, with the current horrible documentation the situation is much worse. If computers would be too difficult with good documentation, then they are much harder to use now with poor or no documentation.E.g., when I use the Windows 7 backup software Windows Backup, the resulting directory is a total pain in the sitting place to do anything with, e.g., look at it, copy it, rename it, or delete it. Why? Because some ??? in Redmond put on some strange file/directory meta data having to do with owners and privileges. So, basically they are using some version of old attribute control lists (ACLs) that go way back.ACLs are not difficult to understand or use if we are given the basic documentation and utility software, which mostly we are not. Nowhere have I found what that metadata is, what it does, how to read/write it, etc. There are some utilities, e.g., attrib, takeown, icacls, which from all I can tell don’t work very well, along with a big tree of windows in Windows Explorer, but still about the closest I found at all specific was some C language source code struct definitions.The documentation is either darned tough to find or doesn’t exist.And there’s program design: It used to be that each time I had to manage or reinstall Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, I had involuntary symptoms. Finally I just did a total traversal of the full tree of windows, options, and settings and documented it all for myself. Still, setting up an address list requires an obscure HTML page, which I have, and black magic, with no sense to it.One of the whoppers was the default location for the e-mail received, in a hidden directory deep in the hierarchical tree file system with the operating system.Yes, eventually I worked around that, too.Also, when Outlook is installed and offers to send a “test message”, scream bloody murder and stop that nonsense right away: Why? Because that test message and all messages waiting at the ISP will go to a file in that hidden directory with no easy way to append it to an existing e-mail file. Bummer.So, now I have notes on installation and usage of Outlook that make it all easy. Of course, no way do I want to repeat such mud wrestling with newer versions of e-mail software. Or, I’ve got Outlook 2003 documented for myself and no way want to move to something that again has no decent documentation.We’re teaching grade school kids to program, and of course they can learn this stuff but not very well without good documentation.E.g., for ease of use, I’d be nice if Outlook, Firefox, etc. would offer to write to a text file, with internal comments (I use such data files as a standard approach in my software), and with the current settings. Then a user should also be able to have the program read in the settings from such a file. Sure, a user should be able to edit the file, and errors should be reported when the software reads the file.Maybe for the iPhone Apple has the product so highly polished it’s easy to use — maybe. But Fred’s lament suggests that the problem is not just desktops, isn’t fixed for mobile devices, and is as I claimed, the computer industry is functionally illiterate and unable to describe their work.There is a more general pattern: Believe that the subject is too difficult for users, that full documentation would not be wanted, so write some short documentation that is happy talk, fantasy, and f’get about the screams from users who encounter problems.To me a grand example is cookbooks — they are about fantasy, not cooking. E.g.. from A. Escoffier, L. Diat, J. Child, J. Pepin, dozens of books from lesser experts, essentially all the instructions on making beef stew, of dozens of varieties, are just plain junk, a grand invitation to waste time, money, food, calories, etc. ALL of them.There’s an easy way to tell: Do they say to cook with a thermometer and cook the beef at 160 F? Or if they say to “simmer” or even “slowly simmer”, or even “long, low, slow simmering”, “with just a few bubbles”, then know you are reading junk. Such a simmer would be at about 200 F. Much time over about 180 F will ruin beef. The proteins will shrink, expel their water, and become like chunks of charcoal. With luck there are some ways around the problem: (1) Use a slow cooker that will hold 160 F (never saw one that so claimed). (2) Cook Choice Chuck roast that cooks so fast that maybe the proteins are not seriously damaged.But if want to cook bottom round, then need some hours to melt the collagen; can do that at 160 F; and 180 F will ruin the proteins before the collagen is melted out.I learned about 160 F from some texts on food chemistry and also from some people really serious about cooking — championship BBQ guys smart enough to use thermometers.Cookbooks are awash in such nonsense of omitted crucial details. Indeed, now cookbooks seem to have a phobia about numerical values of weights, volumes, times, and temperatures. Heck, I’d also want numerical data on viscosity and pH.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yes. Since he worked for Hawking for a while, no doubt he understands numerical values of times, temperatures, etc. Yes, I heard about his efforts soon after he published. IRCC it’s 5000 pages and $500 or some such. I fully intend to get a copy.There was a cooking blog eGullet or some such, and IIRC Nathan participated and once used some qualitative results of solutions to the heat equation, in particular, how fast the heat can move through the food.When my startup is successful, sure, I’ll get a terrific, restaurant-like, kitchen and do some cooking.The first time I tried that I got a gorgeous sack full of Nikon camera equipment to take pictures of the How Tos. Of course now that Nikon equipment, as gorgeous as it is, is for film and a bit obsolete. Maybe the several gorgeous lenses will still fit a modern electronic, charged coupled devices (CCD), back?But now for publishing we want not just still images but video and put it all up on a Web site or at YouTube, Vimeo, etc.It’d be a bit silly for me actually to go to the trouble of publishing in cooking: It’s about the oldest field with a lot of experts, even if they don’t explain 160 F. Nathan did a LOT already. I have other things I can do that are new and more powerful and valuable.For backing up a running instance of Windows, there’s now the Western Digital version of Acronis, IIRC available for free for download. It’s much easier to use than Windows Backup. It just writes one file that is easy to copy, delete, etc — no special permissions, capabilities, attributes, authorities, privileges, ownerships, and whatever other synonyms get used in the next poor attempt at documentation.But if my hard drive with my installed operating system instances, XP so that I can run an old copy of Nero and copy DVD to DVDs, Windows 7 Professional, Windows Server 2008 or some such, I’m a little unsure just what to boot to recover — need to review that; I suspect there is a DVD can boot from and then do a restore of an old backup to a new drive.Oops, just checked my notes: Victory! The Acronis software offers to create bootable DVD “rescue media” which I hope will be able to read a SATA (serial ATA, that is, a serial version of the old advanced technology attachment with wide ribbon signal cables) hard drive and maybe even a USB (universal serial bus) connected external hard drive, go to a subdirectory, and restore an earlier backup complete with the boot records early on the disk, etc. — to keep things simple and better documented, I’m still running, booting from, the old approach of BIOS instead of the newer and more capable but complicated low level disk boot software.Maybe I should do some dry runs! I have two 2 TB SATA drives to install. My drive with the partitions with the installed operating system instances is a 500 GB SATA unit. So, I could remove that 500 GB drive, install one of the 2 TB drives, and using Acronis and/or Windows Backup try booting from the corresponding rescue media and see if I can restore from backups on other internal SATA drives or from an external USB drive.Oops, right, don’t remove the 500 GB drive and, instead, when the 2 TB drives are installed just try restores to one of those and then set the BIOS to try to boot from one of them. Might do that!

        1. Elia Freedman

          I see where the disconnect is. You aren’t actually talking about the same users I am. You are a power user and want power user documentation. The mass consumers I’m talking about would never read documentation, let along know or want to know what privilege access is and how to deal with trees of Office 2003 directories.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Your point is well taken but:(1) What you are saying is what a lot of people want. E.g., eventually Apple and others finally figured out that what a LOT of people really used on a desktop PC was e-mail and the Internet. Then with a smartphone, those people could get to use a dozen or so polished “apps” and stop there.But as in this thread, even Fred, who apparently has worked with every device with at least one moving electron, has a lament.(2) On a desktop computer with Office and Outlook, etc., those 100 or so settings still need to be made, and if a user doesn’t want to dig into those then they have to ask for help. Maybe Microsoft’s Office 365 or some such has good solutions: Apparently on Windows 10 Microsoft has been trying to have a good way for users to get answers with their Cortana. So, apparently Microsoft is recognizing that there’s a problem with documentation, information, etc.Struggling with the poor documentation has cost me several times as much in time and effort as the work uniquely mine for my startup. From Windows 2000 to Windows 10, I’d say I’ve wasted full time for some YEARS, and nearly all of that time was just unnecessary and due to poor documentation.I’m screaming bloody murder: My time in Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming, Ullman on database, the hardest courses I took in school, writing TCP/IP socket code, the times I worked in assembler, etc. are all small in comparison.(3) There’s a range of capabilities of users. Nearly everyone in the US with a high end smartphone did lots of reading and writing in school and, thus, actually COULD read documentation if they really wanted to — sure, maybe they read romance novels but not computer documentation.(4) I’m only partly a “power user”!! Now I learn and do what I need for my startup and little more otherwise. E.g., I’ve never gotten out an old copy of a Petzold book and dug into C++ coding with the System 32 functions. Instead, I am staying, trying to stay, at the level of the Microsoft .NET Framework.E.g., I have not looked into how 32 bit x86 code runs on 64 bit x86 hardware — so far I’ve not had a big reason to know except that an old copy of Nero that ran fine on 32 bit Windows XP won’t run on either 64 bit Windows 7 bit or 64 bit Windows 10 — bummer since that old Nero code is all I’ve had to make backup copies of DVDs. Same for a really nice movie player WinDVD or some such.Yes there is the attitude that computers should “just work”, that is, not need documentation. Hmm.

  2. William Mougayar

    I recently replaced my 8 year old Macbook Air with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and not looking back. The Macbook is now my desktop and the Surface is for travel. The Surface and Pixel Slate are relatively similar. Touching a large screen is cool.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      How do you like the Surface? One of my clients has one and I was super impressed with it.

      1. William Mougayar

        Definitely love it. I have the 11 inch screen, not the larger screen, because I want light portability. Only minor thing is I wished the battery lasted longer.

        1. jason wright

          USB C?

          1. William Mougayar

            no, but there is a connector cable. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

          2. kenberger

            it’s a very cool thing that macs now have usb c,and so do most (non-iphone, so far) newer phones. Grab one cable to rule them all while traveling (I use a generic multi-port hub).USB C is still very much split– Samsung and any Qualcomm-based phones use the QC quickcharge standard, while Pixel and macbook uses PD power delivery. But despite all that, most any usb c cable will at least slow charge with most any device, in a pinch. Standardization of peripherals is a value-add to society, in my book.

      2. kenberger

        If you really prefer Windows, it shines.I have been an Outlook freak for a long time– and still dearly miss it after finally caving to the G Suite stack a few months ago.Office on Windows is still far more robust than anything out there (Outlook Mac remains crippled).

        1. William Mougayar

          I don’t use Outlook. I use Gmail and the G suites. only MS product I use are really PPT and WORD.

          1. kenberger

            i didn’t claim Office to be Surface’s *only* use case :)I do find my Surface a great stand-alone machine for the times I do need windows specifically, and can see how you enjoy it for even main machine use.

        2. Susan Rubinsky

          I love Windows. They stole my heart in the 90’s when my MAC would crash every time you opened something — Windows was killing it in the 90’s compared to Apple.I’m a heavy Word, Excel, and Powerpoint user. I switched to Google apps for email/calendar/storage a very long time ago (10 years?). I’m also a heavy Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop user. Plus some other specialized software (font creation and tracking, photography/video software, etc.)I have been lugging around this ancient (7, 8 years?) Toshiba laptop for years (really nice and big widescreen, though) and can’t seem to part with it because it just feels wrong to ditch a computer that’s still blazing along. It’s really difficult to travel with but also a joy to have such a large screen when away from my desk, especially for image editing. Anyhow, been considering a Surface or some other solution for meetings and general day-to-day travelling.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Oh yeah, also, GIS applications (Esri, etc.)

          2. kenberger

            Given your case, I have no doubt that a Surface would thrill you.

  3. obarthelemy

    And it has a Linux sandbox, for when ChromeOS or Android apps aren’t enough.https://support.google.com/

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      THAT is good to know.

    2. kenberger

      that is a super cool point. I’m the type to mess with that, just because I can.I remember having the Archos mp3 player, years before the first iPod came out, and you could upload a lot of linux code just for fun. Geek factor means something to some people (like me).

  4. Lawrence Brass

    Diversity and competition is good, this is how evolution happens.As a developer, my goal is to have representative and current devices available for testing but it is getting every day more expensive to do so. Have some new and several outdated devices abandoned or being used by my grandchildren. Can you believe that the iPad1 is still working?Pixel Slate vs iPad Pro, this is going to be and interesting fight.

    1. Jeff J

      I have the Pixelbook and the new iPad Pro.With the issue of the full web browser that is the main UI of Chrome OS, I’m preferring the iPad. Most of my day to day I’m in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email, etc. Most content I create is written and for serious photo or video editing I use a MBP 15. I’m curious about the Slate, but don’t have a good use case to purchase the one that makes sense to trial, the i5 variant. I’m going to bet its very close to the Pixelbook with a better screen, faster processor and the fingerprint reader.Biometric security is a big deal, from logging in to using passwords in a password manager while in a browser or an app. That would be my only excuse to purchase one.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        The iPad Pro is first on my update list. I know I need the small one but I want the big one. For development purposes, you know. :)Do you feel the power of the A12X? Does it show?

        1. Jeff J

          Yes, I do.The SoC makes most activities blazingly fast. As an experiment I kept every app I used open and didn’t reboot for a week. I wound up with 42 apps open and 3 browsers with 20+ tabs each. Even then new apps opened quickly, tabs were cached or reloaded quickly. Really cool

  5. kenberger

    I very much get the political underdog nature undertone here– that the dominance of Windows/Office –> in ways fell to Apple mac –> which we can now see perhaps falling to a browser/netPC type of thing, is the way of progress and innovation– it sneaks up on us.And so I really want to support this move– it’s no secret I’m a huge Google fanboy, as is Fred. And so I’ve tried a Slate, and pixelbooks before it.My conclusion? We aren’t there yet. I have my (incumbent) Macbook 12 weighs in at a total of 2 pounds and I can live solely on it for months. The Slate, with a keyboard, is something like 2.7 pounds and all else remaining the same, I’m trading off by not having a full OS. I can think of few cases today where I wish I had the mobile OS on my laptop (HotelTonight, *maybe* Swarm/foursquare as a power-user). And a decently-loaded Slate is almost the same price (could be more) than the Mac 12.I haven’t figured out why I’d want to touch my laptop screen– at least not for MY use; someone who is in design, audio/video and other areas have a much clearer need. Or why to use the ribbon thing on my macbook Pro, the whole thing of which is a big relative disappointment compared to the Macbook 12.I also used a Surface for a while, which I hardly use unless i really want Windows native (development stuff), again because if I have to add the weight of the flimsy keyboard (the Slate’s is at least a big step up), the macbook 12 slays it. (although it’s also good as a Mac Mini-type driver (hook it up to a HDTV)).

    1. LE

      New Macbook Air 13 with Retina is really nice you should look at that. Fingerprint login (or use Apple Watch) and none of that ribbon thing going on. I am tempted to buy another just because.

      1. jason wright

        ribbon thing?

        1. kenberger

          the touchbar offered on macbooks last couple years. Sounded great, but I actually wish I could just rip it out and put back in the dedicated keys. Especially if you’re a developer, not having the physical escape key to clack at, or dedicated volume and brightness keys, really sucks.

      2. kenberger

        You prove my point even further re other devices to compete with the solution mentioned here.My macbook 12 is from 2015, and “luckily” had a faulty keyboard finally covered under a class action suit that just replaced the whole top case. The sucker is a total champ, I don’t really notice a performance issue with it’s 1.1GHZ chip, and the form factor is amazing. The 2 lbs (vs 2.75 with the new Air, or the Slate/keyboard combo) sounds so small but makes a difference if you travel a ton across a lot of varying terrain, like I do.I don’t mean to help promote the world’s most valuable co, and I’m anti-apple in bunch of ways, but they’re the winner for now in this category.

        1. K_Berger

          Feel the same way about the Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

        2. LE

          I think it’s like choosing a vacation spot. You know if you value having a sailboat on the beach at the hotel you will take a hit somewhere else. To me the extra weight isn’t an issue and I looked at the 12 a few times and didn’t buy it. I have several machines I use (mbpro; mb13 air; mb13 air retina; mb11 and others (desktops galore)) depending on the situation and the mood I am in etc. When I travel I take a backup machine (as well as bootable disks) so the weight is just something I deal with.One thing as you know device will slow down as they change the OS that is pretty predictable, right.At my desk not only 3 large monitor with a desktop (mac pro) but a few laptops behind me. I use everything and find it is very efficient for me at least the way I work. If I could fit more machines I would actually.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      To heck with phones!!! She’s totally up off the tops of the charts, world class, drop dead GORGEOUS!!! Any REAL man would level mountains and build a crystal palace in the sky for her!!! That picture is from the days when men were men and women were women and the US was doing well at family formation!I know; I know; while it’s tough to believe at AVC.com, there really are some things more important than “mobile apps”!!!

    2. jason wright

      Apple pie.

  6. kenberger

    Fred:”Google deprecates the fingerprint login for work accounts”– my first thought is maybe there’s a G Suite admin setting that could be changed to allow it (if your tech people approve).Aha, quick googling suggests just that:https://support.google.com/

  7. Yury Molodtsov

    Google handicaps G-suite accounts in general, not specifically the biometric login.

  8. LE

    and I’ve got a very strong password on my Google accountIn my opinion (and I know a bit about this) a difficult to remember password is not needed for a Google account. Note I didn’t say ‘easy is ok’ and I didn’t say ‘short is ok’ I said ‘difficult and hard to remember is not needed’. And I said ‘a google account’.We are talking about a google login here. Although I haven’t tested almost certainly google is not allowing any kind of brute force attack on your account. Right? And you have two factor on it, right?So the password”2YpeCv$f$XswAy835V-V” isn’t more secure than’$i love the knicks and i blog everyday$’Make sense? (Propeller heads don’t have to try and figure out the length and why one is or is not better (you know that xkcd cartoon oh shit here it is) [1]Of course fingerprint login (which I have) is great.[1] https://xkcd.com/936/

    1. obarthelemy

      I always, always, make sure to have a non-dictionnary word in passwords/phrases.

      1. LE

        So you think there is a chance of someone (once again with a google account) of breaking in by brute force this way or by guessing etc? Assumes unique and that it wasn’t lifted from some breakin elsewhere.But sure for someone’s mom not a good idea (sorry to all mom’s same for Dad).General security advice is for ‘everybody’. Just like general medical advice or general financial advice is for everyone. The idea is to understand enough about how things work so that you can get the best situation for you.What’s fascinating is that the people who seem to have the most to say about this are the ones that are designing systems (at the highest level) that are always getting hacked or social engineered. (Not referring to you I have no clue what you do..)Of course if you wanted to use long and dictionary words you could simply add a few easy to remember characters instead of $ signs

        1. obarthelemy

          Actually, what I see most is bdays. That’s depressing.

    2. andreas

      Biometric is nice to have.Password recollection really should be a thing of the past in the age of password managers i.e. 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane etc..and especially my current favourite Myki which embraces a new centralised/distributed model running completely from your mobile device.

  9. LE

    I may very well start taking it with me when I travel, instead of my MacBook Air. As I just said to Ken Berger in another comment you should look at the new Macbook Air 13 with biometric login and retina screen it’s a great laptop and a vast improvement over the old Macbook Air 13. Also works with Apple Watch for login. Go ahead be stubborn actually don’t take a look or buy one.

  10. JamesHRH

    ‘ full discovery mode ‘ / happy place.

  11. nnutter

    I noticed ChromeOS now let’s you set a PIN to login in addition to the password (like Windows) so that might be of interest to you on the Pixelbook.https://support.google.com/

  12. andreas

    Fred, how do you get along with the keyboard so far?Every review I’ve watched or read was complaining about the flimsy horizontal wobble when typing on your lap. Google didn’t see fit to incorporate magnets so the keyboard would snap to the front of the screen like the one for the Surface does. It’s about the only thing keeping me from buying this device at the moment.